This evening, during a special University of Michigan Board of Regents meeting to discuss the university budget, the Regents affirmed the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s commitment to student success, academic excellence and creating access and opportunity for qualified students, with the approval of the university’s $158.3 million 2020-2021 general fund operating budget. The budget includes an 11.8 percent increase in financial aid to support our students in need of resources. With this increase, approximately 89 percent of our state of Michigan budget appropriation will go directly to students via financial aid.
To align with the university's commitment to student success, beginning with the fall 2020 semester, the university has restructured tuition policies to permit full-time undergraduate students to take 12 or more credit hours without paying additional tuition (300 course level charges per credit hour will still be assessed). This “block tuition” structure will encourage undergraduate students to take increased course loads and graduate more quickly at a reduced tuition rate. Students who complete 15 credit hours vs. 12 per semester will be on track to graduate in four years, versus five or more years, resulting in savings of more than $13,500 in tuition costs. Go here for additional FAQs about the change to block tuition.
In addition, all students will see a reduction in their registration fee by $200 per semester. This shift will align fees with the resources and activities available to students. Under this change, students will purchase optional parking passes separately. However, for academic year 2020-21, recognizing that the campus environment will be different in the fall and to help reduce the financial burden on students during the coronavirus pandemic, the university will forgo all parking fees for students, faculty and staff.
During these challenging times, the university has worked hard to become more efficient, reduce expenses and keep our tuition increase as low as possible. Since April, the university leadership team has voluntarily reduced their salaries, instituted a voluntary furlough program, frozen all reserve funds in the colleges and units, halted travel and tuition reimbursement for non-UM programs, stopped all non-essential construction work and reduced expenditures on utilities, general supplies, vendor services and other non-critical expenses.
With this in mind, we are moving forward with the lowest tuition increase needed to maintain a high-quality Michigan education and adapt to uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and state funding.
Tuition and fees for full-time, in-state, undergraduate students at UM-Dearborn will increase 1.9 percent or $124 per semester. Tuition and fees for one year of study at UM-Dearborn will total $13,552. We are not increasing undergraduate curriculum-specific fees for upper-level courses for 2020-2021. You can view the undergraduate tuition and fee schedule here.
In addition, as the university maintains our commitment to ensuring access to a UM-Dearborn educational experience, we will provide additional financial aid to ensure that all of our pell-eligible students see no net increase in tuition and fees.
As we transition to a new model for tuition and fees, current students, depending on their course load, may see various percentage increases over the prior year. In order to ensure our commitment to affordability, the university will provide all continuing undergraduate Michigan-resident students with additional financial aid to ensure they are only assessed the nominal net 1.9 percent increase in tuition and fees.
The budget also contains a 4.2 percent tuition increase for out-of-state undergraduate students that will increase tuition and fees to $27,520, or about $1,100 more than last year, for full-time lower-division rate.
The new block tuition structure does not apply to UM-Dearborn graduate students. Tuition and fees will increase for graduate students by 5 percent, or about $400 annually, for in-state students, or $1,000 annually, for out-of-state students, for the typical part-time (6 credit hours per term) graduate rate.
Due to COVID-19, the state of Michigan funding appropriation remains uncertain for both FY20 and FY21.
As you all know, the challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic have forced the university to make difficult decisions. UM-Dearborn remains committed to aligning our budget with our top priorities: maintaining the academic quality of a Michigan degree, supporting student success, creating access and opportunity for highly qualified, talented and motivated students who may lack the means to attend college, and ensuring an engaging, productive and safe learning and working environment for our faculty, staff and students.
To help the UM-Dearborn community better understand our budget decisions, we have posted information to our website. In the coming weeks, students enrolled for fall 2020 will receive an email when their tuition charges and any applicable financial aid are ready for review.
To end on a positive note, during the meeting, University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel announced he would make a $20 million fund available to be shared by the UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint campuses as “part of our ongoing commitment to our regional campuses to help them best serve their students and the state.” The funds will be devoted to student success initiatives identified by each chancellor and specific to each campus’s strategic priorities. As I have mentioned often, student success is the keystone that overarches our core mission and strategic planning efforts. I hope to soon share how we will apply these funds in ways that best serve our students.
Thank you for your continued commitment to providing our students with a quality education while maintaining public health and fiscal responsibility.
Go Blue - Go Dearborn!